The strange for the Russian ear word «Kunstkamera» that in German means «a room of rarities», was used by Peter I, the founder of St. Petersburg, to name his collection of rarities. Peter’s idea to open such a «room» at home was bought in Europe, where he had found not only the abundance of such displays but also discovered for himself a new science - anatomy. At he same time Peter bought everything that surprised him: books, tools, abnormalities samples etc. On the basis of the all the stuff brought Peter founded his own personal collection of rarities. To replenish it he used the materials brought after domestic expeditions, foreign purchases, and donations from private individuals. Famous travelers from all over the world gave Peter curious things, which they brought from different countries they visited. Updating collections required more space, so in 1714 the personal collection of Peter I as well as the rarities collection belonging to Health Ministry were moved from Moscow to St. Petersburg and placed in the Summer Palace. In 1719 the collection of «Kunstkamera» was transported to «Kikin’s Home» near Smolny courtyard. From that time on Kunstkamera went public; by the order of Peter I it was open to everyone.
Here you will also see many natural curiosities and rarities you have never seen and even imagined.